Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Dad Joke

So Sunday morning in between church services a handful of us were trying to explain the dad joke to a friend. I didn't know people grew up in a world without dad jokes but apparently some people have.

For those who don't know, the dad joke is a terrible a dad tells. It's usually a pun, or a play on words. Sometimes (with my dad) it's inappropriate. And it's almost always terrible. But the dad will always tell these jokes. And somewhere along the way, all male children will pick up this ability to tell the terrible joke. It's in the moment when men will utter the phrase "I'm just like my dad."

Here's an example of a dad joke that my father told. We were watching some show involving food on the Travel Channel and they were talking about either a fish sandwich or dish. And my dad turned to us with a smile and said;

"I would try that just for the halibut."

If you don't get it, say it out loud a couple times.

It's cringe worthy. You shake your head. And then a part of you dies while you ultimately succumb to laughter.

But there's another part of the dad joke that I haven't mentioned yet. I will tell a story to explain this.

I tweeted today one such awful joke.

"Peanut butter and jelly. It's the jam!"

Awful. Cringe worthy. And yet you still chuckled.

What makes this a classic dad joke is the sense of pride I have taken in the fact that I was smart and quick witted enough to come up with this true gem of comedy. Anyone who ha ever heard a dad joke has seen the face of one who thinks they are the new master of comedy. The prideful smile and laugh because they are funny.

I would love for people to share their memorable dad jokes and the stories behind them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Voice

So NBC has been running promos for their new singing contest, The Voice, for what seems like a year now. Maybe it's only been 6 month but still, that's a long time to pimp a show.

So the Voice finally aired last night and the promos worked because I wanted to watch and check this out. Damn you NBC! Having your promos plaster my on demand viewing choices and running constant commercial for this show while I watch the NHL Playoffs.

Seriously, there was compelling NHL playoff hockey being played last night but I watched the Voice instead.

Now I don't like these types of shows. I don't watch American Idol or America’s Got Talent or anything like that. But the Voice was just intriguing enough for me to watch. I wanted to see if it was actually all the talented people who were in the commercials or if they were going to pull an Idol and have some painfully tragic fools on the stage.

To the Voice's credit everyone who got on stage could sing. Not everyone got picked, but just because you can sing doesn't mean you have the pipes to be interesting enough to hold mainstream America's attention.

The show is actually very compelling. It's interesting to see which of the judges like which voice. My favorite part of the show is the contestants get to chose who's team they'll be on (if multiple judges want them on their team).

So I think I'm hooked for a while. From the understanding each team gets 8 singers and they pit their own singers against each other and the coaches have to eliminate their own singers for the first couple of weeks. This is clearly no Idol. It's better.

Bravo NBC. Through nonstop promotion you have gotten me to watch your show. The show being good will keep me interested... For now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Food Review: Wheat Thins Stix - Cinnamon Kick

My last food review went over so well, I figured it's time for another.

I needed something to go with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So I walked on over to Shoppers and picked up the new Whea Thins Stix, Cinnamon flavored. If you're like me your mind works like this:

Wheat Thin = Yummy Cracker
Cinnamon = Awesome
Stix = Lame spelling but I can pretend I'm smoking like I did when I was 5.

So obviously my brain works in a way that makes this the logical choice for a perfect sandwich side.

I was wrong.

First of all, if you're going to rock Cinnamon on your cracker, you had better take the salt off. And while Wheat Thin isn't the saltiest cracker in the world, the salt that is there is over powering.

Which gets us to the next part.If you're going to call your product "Cinnamon Kick" it should have cinnamon on it, and the kick part should be feeling like Wheat Thin has kicked you in the balls and tricked you into buying there not so cinnamon cracker.

Damn you Wheat Thin and your lying names! I could have gotten Teddy Grahams or a multitude of chips or crackers that would have been better.

Obviously you should avoid this.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Want My MTV

It's soapbox time. I feel like I haven't pulled it out and given a rant in a while. SO let's give a whirl.

It's GMA week in Nashville, which means the Dove Awards are happening. They're actually being filmed today and aired (somewhere) Sunday night. THe Dove Awards are like the Christian version of the Grammys. Only instead of game show American Idol winners and bad pop acts like the Black Eyed Peas, we get aging artists like Michael W. Smith and Third Day.

Now I don't want to bash the Dove Awards. They are a Christian music staple and people love the music they honor on that night. Plus, I always watch the Dove Awards (like I do with the Grammys) and without them I would have nothing to complain about.

So my beef is more of a music industry beef. While the Grammys and Dove Awards exist to showcase the "best" of what's new in music, a lot of artist and genres are excluded from these parties.

So what am I proposing? I would love to organize and run an award show for underground Christian music. I know the inernet always hands out their best of every year (I know I rock mine). But I'd like to have a night, with a televised event, showcasing the best of the Christian underground scenes (hardcore, punk, alternative, hip-hop). You can have industry people vote on their favorites and pick the winners and put on a whole party with presenters and make it just like the MTV awards (only more awesome).

So who's with me?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fall to Grace - A Book Review

If you've spent some time around me in the past month you've probably heard me mention Jay Bakker's latest book, Fall to Grace. And if you're sick of me pimping his book, I'm sorry. But I've decided to give it an online thumbs up and tell people why they should pick this book up.

What it isn't:

Despite what you may have read on the internet, Fall to Grace is not a book about gay marriage. While Bakker does talk about homosexuality and it's place in the church and the christians who profess to be gay, the book isn't about whether homosexuality is right or wrong. There are 2 chapters at the end of the book that address the issue of homosexuality and the bible head on but that shouldn't keep you from reading Fall to Grace. This book is for you no matter where you fall on the issue of gay marriage/homosexuality.

What it is:

Fall to Grace on the other hand is a beautiful book about redemption and God's saving grace and love that has redeemed Bakker, myself, and millions more. Fall to Grace is a study of Paul's letter to the Galatians. It's a well written book that is a nice reminder of God's sacrifice and love. Bakker does a great job at going throguh Paul's letter and using Paul's word to point back to Jesus as our lone source for salvation. It's a book about grace that covers all sin and accepts us all, wherever we're at at, no matter the circumstances.

I highly recommend Fall to Grace. I loved the book and I think everyone should read.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lipstick Stigmata

It's time for an update on my great iTunes playlist endeavor. It's after midnight, the candle scent is pumpkin pie, and indie/emo band Elliot's classic False Cathedrals is playing over my computer speakers.

For those unfamiliar with my musical undertaking, I will explain. In, I'm going to say August, I decided to listen to my iTunes library start to finish alphabetically by album. Albums I like I keep. Albums I'm not feeling, I delete. And along the way, I share tidbits of things I've come to learn. So I'm now in F. That's right, F (Obviously. False Cathedrals, duh!) Since my last post here's the what's what.

Grits writes great singles. I love all their radio single. Innovative, killer Christian hip-hop. But their albums are full of filler and tracks I don't dig.

The Violet Burning is hit or miss. Drop Dead = Hit. Faith and Devotions of the Satellite Heart = Miss.

I totally love Mortification!

And really obscene hardcore, with lots of swearing has no place in my music library. There are bands with swearing (and lots of it) that has a place in my music library (and heart) like BoySetsFire, but I've delete a handful of albums where the swearing just got old. I have thousands of Christian hardcore albums that I don't need to fill my head with filth (all the time). On the hand, sometimes I need Hatebreed to fuel my anger... Just saying.

Next 5 Records:

Fanmail - Fanmail 2000 (Alternative/Punk)
Dime Store Prophets - Fantastic Distraction (Indie/Folk)
Slick Shoes - Far From Nowhere (Pop Punk)
God is an Astronaut - Far From Refuge (Post Rock)
Bleach - Farewell to Old Friends (Alternative)

Until next update... You stay classy San Diego.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Get Inked

Can I talk about tattoos for a second? Yes, good!

Actually I want to talk about not getting tattooed...

My tattoo artist, Jason @ Tiki Tattoo, is an awesome dude. His work is stellar and he's about the cheapest tattoo artist you'll ever find. I've never paid more then $60 for a session. It's great stuff. The problem is Jason is busy. Really busy. I went in to book an appointment in January and he could fit me in in October. What? October. We've been working on the same piece for over a year now and I'd like some new ink. Not just to finish what we started but something new and fresh.

So I've been looking for a new place to get some work done. The problem is you can never get pricing online and it's hard to judge the work. I just assume that if the work is awesome then I'm going to be paying out the nose but if it's cheap and the work sucks... You can see the problem here.

I've thought about looking into seeing if I could get a Daniel Weyandt, of Zao, tattoo. The problem with Dan is he works in Greensburg, PA. It's a 4 hour trip for me. A little for a tattoo but to get inked by the vocalist from one of my favorite bands... Awesome!

I'd also like to get tattooed by Dave Quiggle of xDisciplex, N.I.V. fame. He does killer art and I'd love to have a real classic tattoo done by Dave. But again, he's in California. It would be an awesome trip...

I have ideas for what I want but the idea of working with another artist kind of sucks. But... I want a new tattoo and I need to rock one soon so it'll be all healed up when I go to Disney. I need to figure this out soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hand of the Dead: Christian Metal or The Voice of Evil?

I have an itch to write today. Probably because it's a slow music week and there's no content going on with the music blog. So... Lucky readers?

The title of this post has nothing to do with what I'm writing. Well it does but not in a I'm going to defend or bash Christian metal and call out the people who think Christian rock is the Devil's way of taking over our lives. I'm above that.

No, this is a story of a mission’s trip and a 16 year old metal head and his youth leaders who just didn't get it.

Before my senior year of high school I went on a mission’s trip to New York with my youth group. We were spending the week at a work camp but that's not the point of the story.

So one of our leaders, knowing I was a music head, asked me to bring some music to play in the vans going up. I purposefully picked some tunes that would be more accessible to everyone going on the trip but I still made sure I had Living Sacrifice's The Hammering Process for myself.

So I managed to get into the van with all the luggage. Awesome. Only 6 of us in the van for the trip up to New York. Pretty awesome. We listened to a little music but not a whole lot. One of the girls in the van decided that we should listen to Plus One.

If you don't know about Plus One, congratulations. No seriously, you're lucky. Back in my high school days most Christian music was just a replacement for bands on the radio. Nothing original or creative. Just poor versions of what non-Christians were listening to. So Plus One was the Christian Backstreet Boys.

I was not a fan of this and after 45 minutes or so of awful boy bands music I reclaimed the cd player. I decided that if I had to sit through that then those girls were going to have to suffer through one Living Sacrifice song. I picked Hand of the Dead because it had some clean vocals in it.

The drum intro kicked in and our youth leader instantly turn the cd down thinking that a trash can had been dropped or something had gone wrong with the van. After explaining that it was just the song we turned it back up. And then the vocals started... The song was instantly turned off because Bruce Fitzhugh's growls sounded like Satan and there was no way that it could be Christian.

Needless to say I stopped trying to share metal with people I went to church with.

A funny story that came to mind and I thought I'd share with you.

Here's Hand of the Dead. You decide. Evil or awesome?

All Fall Down

So various members of the NCC Staff have been posting blogs about moments in life when they've fallen. Why, because when people fall down, it's funny.

And of course I decided I should join them. I mean, I fall all the time. I'm a tripping machine. It's like the sidewalk just grows to inches in my path to try and make sure that I find myself stumbling in public like an idiot. Just on Monday, my brother and me were walking when the sidealk attacked me.

Will Johnston Talks about falling off bikes and the dumb things done when a kid. I can relate. Between snowboarding (standing up on sleds, building ice ramps down narrow paths) and skateboarding I've experienced a ton of falling moments (and many bleeding moments) because of general being a boy and being dumb.

So what's a good falling story? I feel like ice has to be involved because ice is the catalyst for the best moments of falling. I know this year it took me a good 10 minutes to try and walk up hill on ice to get into work before I decided I would around to where the ice was not.

But this story does not involve ice. It involves coffee. Hot, very hot coffee. If you are unaware I drink a lot of coffee. I used to drink too much coffee. For all 8 hours of the work day I would consume coffee at the rate of about a cup an hour. Sometimes laziness was involved and I wouldn't make a pot of coffee, I'd just go over to Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or the little bakery below our studio for a cup.

One morning before going into the office I went over to Dunkin Donuts for a bagel and coffee. Walked back over to our building and began the climb up the stairs to our office. Stairs are hard at 6:30 in the morning and I had yet to get that coffee into my tired body. I missed a step and fell backwards. The coffee cup was squeezed just a little too tightly and the top pop off sending my yummy Dunkin Donuts coffee into the air and all over me. A great way to start your morning. Not sure I laughed at myself that time...

Of course I had tripped on those stairs while carrying coffee many MANY times. Oh my.

Thanks to Will, Jennilee, Heather Zempel, and Maegan Stout for the inspiration.

Here is Grits with They All Fall Down.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I'm going to talk about baseball. Is that ok?

So I went to see my Atlanta Braves play the Washington Nationals yesterday and it was awesome. The Braves murder the Nats 11-2. Great game for me as a Braves fan. But even had the Braves lost, it would have been awesome. Because I was at a baseball game.

I tweeted yesterday that the combo of beer and hotdogs was the smell of baseball. It's funny but not untrue. Is there anything better then a hotdog at a baseball game? They smell and taste so much better then any hotdog I make at home. It's a great childhood memory, eating hotdogs at baseball games. Or as my dad would call them, Cal Dogs.

I guess I should explain that reference. The price of hotdogs being $4.50 or whatever they cost back when I was 7 made my father frustrated. Expensive ballpark food. Since the food went towards paying the players my dad would eat his hotdog for Cal Ripken and called it a Cal dog.

I didn't get a hotdog yesterday. I was hungry and didn't feel like wandering the ballpark or standing in a long line so I hot an Italian Sausage.

I love baseball. Not as much as hockey but probably more then football. I played baseball as a kid, although not for very long. I was a pretty awful baseball player. My dreams of playing left field in the MLB were crushed pretty early on. I tried. I played spring baseball, which was fun. I had one good hit that would have been a home run but I was so shocked that I had hit the ball that hard and far that I stood for too long watching the ball instead of running the bases. I tried out for a summer travel all-star type league but didn't make the cut. I played fall ball but it got too cold and when I got sick I quit.

I'm a much better fielder in my older age but I still can't hit. I played softball for two years and was a solid fielder but my batting is just awful. A painful reminder that I suck at baseball.

I collected baseball cards as a kid. I still have most of them. It's not a huge collection (unless my grandparents still have the trunk of cards I was given). Kids don't collect ball cards anymore do they? Their used to be specialty shops for kids like me. I'm pretty sure those don't exist either.

Another funny side story. I used to throw the baseball with my grandma when I was little. She used to tell me that she taught Cal Ripken how to pitch. I knew it was ridiculous back then, because Cal was obviously not a pitcher.

I loved going to games. Going with my dad to Camden Yards to see the Baltimore Orioles play. Going to Frederick to see their minor league team the Keys play (as it was said to me yesterday, before we knew better).

The question I get most asked is how I, being from Maryland, became a Braves fan. The story is simple. My dad didn't like the owner of the Baltimore Orioles. When Peter Angelos fired Johnny Oates after the 1994 season my dad wasn't happy and disowned the O's. SO at the age of 10 I also decided to jump ship.

The Braves' games used to be on TBS everyday. I watched their opening day game in 1995 and was a fan from that day on. It didn't hurt that the team won the World Series that year (it must have been because I was now a fan). A pretty simple story. When the Nationals came to DC in 2005 I had already had 10 years of being a Braves fan under my belt and wasn't going to jump ship for the team in DC.

And thus my completely random baseball blog.